Being injured on another person’s property, whether it’s a friend’s house or a business you’re visiting, can be a scary and confusing situation. You may be unsure who is at fault and whether you need to seek compensation for your injuries. This article provides tips on how to handle an injury that occurs on someone else’s premises.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health and safety should always be the top priority. If you’ve suffered any injury, even if it seems minor, get medical attention right away. This serves two purposes:
- It ensures you get proper treatment for your injuries. Small cuts can get infected or seemingly mild pains can be signs of hidden internal damage.
- It documents your injuries while they’re still fresh. Having a medical record from the day of the accident will be crucial if you need to pursue legal action later.
Insider Tip: Save all receipts and paperwork from your medical visits and treatment. These will help support your claim.
Document the Scene Thoroughly
Take photos and videos that fully capture the area where you got injured. Get visual evidence of any defects, spills, obstructions, lack of safety warnings, missing lights, broken stairs, or whatever conditions may have caused or contributed to the accident. Close-up shots of your actual injuries are also helpful.
Take notes on details like wet floors, poor lighting, noises, location of objects, and so on. Documenting everything thoroughly on the day of the incident helps recreate the scene.
Get Contact Information
Write down names and contact details for:
- Witnesses – Anyone who saw the incident occur. Get their full names, phone numbers, and emails if possible.
- Property owners/managers – The owner of the premises is usually liable for injuries that happen there. Also get info for any building managers or business operators, if applicable.
Quick Tip: If it’s a store or restaurant, ask for a business card of the manager on duty.
- First responders – Police officers or EMTs who come to the scene may have insights about the conditions.
Report the Incident
Tell the property owner about the incident right away if you’re able. Letting them know you were injured while on their premises gives them a chance to investigate the scene. Reporting promptly also prevents false claims that you failed to notify them.
Send a formal written notice of your injury as well. This creates a paper trail and timeline of events. Keep a copy for your records.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you on the strength of your case and whether the circumstances warrant legal action. They may conduct an independent investigation, get evidence from the owner, negotiate a settlement, or file a lawsuit on your behalf if needed.
It’s usually best to consult an attorney sooner rather than later so they can start gathering information. Many personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations and only collect fees if you win compensation.
Key Things a Lawyer Can Help With:
- Determining liability – Figuring out who is at fault and responsible for your injuries.
- Calculating damages – Medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.
- Negotiating a settlement – Getting fair compensation without going to court.
- Filing a lawsuit – Suing a negligent property owner if needed.
It’s important to act quickly if you’ve suffered any significant injury on someone else’s property. The sooner you get medical treatment, document evidence, and consult an attorney, the stronger your potential injury claim will be. Don’t let time slip away and harm your chances of just compensation.